Washington City surprised by rank on list of most dangerous places to live in Utah

Posted at 8:54 PM, Dec 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-17 22:54:16-05

WASHINGTON CITY, UTAH – Police say they aren't putting much stock in a recent online ranking placing Washington City among the most dangerous places to live in Utah.

Real estate website Movoto put Washington City at No. 4 on the list, behind South Salt Lake, Salt Lake City and Odgen.

According to the website, the company used 2012 FBI crime statistics and calculated a score based on the number of muders, violent crimes and property crimes. Those numbers were compared with population to come up with a crime per capita score.

“You take surveys with a grain of salt,” said Washington City Police spokesperson Ed Kantor. “Understanding there are a lot of factors that go into the results of a survey.”

Kantor said basing a ranking off of one year provides an inaccurate picture. He said other factors such as demographics, the nature of the crime, and the possible carry-over from neighboring cities need to be considered.

Washington City residents who spoke with FOX 13 News are surprised by the results. Jim Crookston says he's lived in the area 43 years, and he’s always felt safe living in Washington. He said it’s unfair to judge a whole city on incidents that likely happened in just a few different areas.

“You always hear about stuff happening up [in Salt Lake],” Crookston said. “But you don’t hear about an awful lot happening down here.”

“When my kid gets older, I’m not going to worry about her,” says two-year Washington City resident Jessica Bailey. “Everyone is great, and I don’t ever feel nervous.”

In an email to FOX 13 News, Movoto content manager Randy Nelson defended the company’s methodology, saying it’s not substantially different than other studies published each year using crime data.

Another Movoto ranking from early this year put Washington City at number two of the top 10 best places to live in Utah.

View the 2012 FBI crime statistics here.